This time last year…

November 30, 2020 1:49 pm by
Posted in HOYS, Jayne Ross, News

As October passes by I was thinking last Sunday Team Ross should have been at HOYS and instead there I was on my quad bike grading the sand school – what a difference from 2019!

Last year the team were up at 2am preparing and competing 3 riding horses (Casino, Hello Dolly and CSF Cummer Paradise) and 1 coloured horse (KBF Crescendo).  We then had 3 horses who had qualified for the Supreme (Casino, CSF Cummer Paradise and Twinshock Warrier).

HOYS Sunday is the 6th day of 2am starts and long days. Each day after competing the following days horses only have an evening working in time available if you want to use the Topspec arena. So if we are using our allocated evening slot by the time we get back to the stables, cool the horses off, rug them up and settle them down for the night we often don’t get back to the lorry until 11.30 pm.

We were thrilled when TwinShock Warrier took the Supreme title and we finished at around 11pm that night after the cavalcade. The horses were then loaded up and driven home – so another late night but I was on cloud nine from my seventh HOYS supreme win and couldn’t have been happier.

Conversely this year the team were on the yard at 8am and with the usual jobs completed, they took 3 horses out for a nice hack and the rest were turned out for the day. The staff then headed home at about 5pm.

I had a lovely ride out, a relaxed morning on the yard with a bit of a tidy up and finished the day at home doing some gardening and a roast dinner in the evening with my husband, Alan.

Because it has been such a bizarrely different year we are busier than we would normally be, but I am pleased as it means I have been able to keep all the staff on.  It is difficult enough to find good staff and when you have a great team you want to keep them around.

We have had some of the horses out on fun rides, even taking a couple of the 3-year olds because the ground was lovely.  In order to keep the horses doing different things they have been autumn hunting, hacking out around the countryside, popping over fallen trees as well as some pole work in the school – I like to give them a complete change of scene at this time of year.

A few of the horses have been turned away for a month or so to some fantastic grazing a few minutes down the road.  It belongs to some friends who have some fabulous grounds where we get our hay.  The horses go there every winter, so they graze the ground during the winter and then have the hay from it in the summer.

The cobs stay here where the grass is not quite as rich, otherwise they would come back like barrels and it would take forever to get them back in shape!

Most of the horses stay with us over the winter and this year is no different.  One or two of the horses have new owners and have stayed on the yard rather than go to their new homes. We have a couple of nice little winter projects this year, one of which is the beautiful horse, Tiger cub who won the horse section of the Cuddy at HOYS in 2019 as a two-year-old and went on to be reserve champion. He should have had a 3-year-old season in hand with Billy Moran who bred him but of course that hasn’t been able to happen.  Tiger Cub arrived a couple of weeks ago, having spent the summer in the fields instead of going to shows.  In some ways that is a shame, but he has been out as a 2-year-old, so he has seen the world a bit.   We also have a lovely, coloured mare, KBF Lucia, who was bred by Tony Reynolds and Michael Cook; we have her backed and she went on a fun ride recently and had a great time.

On reflection you have to look for the positives of 2020 because we are all in the same boat. Team Ross are all fit, healthy, and enjoy living in this beautiful area with lovely horses and super people to work with. We have had fantastic weather this year and have some great young horses for next year. Plus, how lucky am I to have another season with some of our older horses because 2020 might have been their last. There has also been more time for training the horses and doing all those jobs around the yard we don’t usually have time for.  Best of all I have been able to spend more time with Alan and my garden has never looked so good!